New Landing Gear, Same Flight Plan: Migrating From Airplane to Appsmith

Michael Peach
Posted by Michael PeachPublished on Jan 21, 2024
4 min read
Airplane migration blog - primary image

Appsmith provides a safe landing for custom applications and automations that are impacted by Airplane’s ( pending shutdown.

Airplane has been acquired by Airtable

Earlier this month, Airplane announced that they would be joining forces with Airtable. As a part of this new chapter, the Airplane platform will be shutting down on March 1st. At Appsmith, we share a similar vision of empowering teams through accessible software tools, and believe that the Appsmith low-code platform can provide a safe landing spot for applications that will be orphaned by this change.

Airplane and Appsmith share a developer-first approach

Both Appsmith and Airplane were created with developers in mind. They are low-code platforms that provide full programmatic control while removing repetitive tasks that slow down application development. They allow technical teams to build dashboards, admin panels, CRUD apps, front-ends for databases, automated workflows, and other back-office applications up to 80% faster.

This approach differs from no-code or “citizen developer” focused platforms which abstract away data source access and querying, business logic, and software lifecycle processes. Under the guise of simplicity, these platforms often make it more difficult for technical teams to build and maintain internal applications or workflows.

Appsmith provides code-level control over business logic, data sources, and UI elements. You can import custom JS libraries, and manage all the variables and functions used in an application within a centralized IDE. We also recently rolled out a beta of a new code-first workflow feature that makes it easy to build sophisticated, multi-step, human-in-the-loop automations.

Reduce the risk of turbulence with open-source solutions

Platform continuity is one of the risks associated with low-code development — especially when the platform is maintained by a start-up company. In exchange for reduced development overhead, users must trust the applications that they build to a third-party platform. If that platform goes down, or the company that is supporting it goes out of business, users are out of luck. Even developer-focused tools have enough proprietary platform features that it’s complicated to migrate apps between platforms.

As an open-source platform, Appsmith significantly reduces the platform continuity risk. Our codebase and roadmap are fully accessible on GitHub and available via the Apache 2.0 license. This allows users to freely use, fork, and contribute to the project. This also means that users are not fully reliant on the Appsmith team to maintain and update the platform (although we intend to do so for a long time).

Open-source also means that our platform is transparent. Users can easily verify our claims about features, functions, and security. We publish our roadmap and all updates, giving users visibility into the frequency and extent to which the platform is updated. In addition to the support from our team, Appsmith is supported by a vibrant community of users and contributors. Community members are an important resource for each other and key drivers of new features and improvements that are made to the platform.

Internal tools matter

Low-code platforms like Airplane and Appsmith are often used to build applications and automations that primarily support internal teams. These tools aren’t commercial applications, and so companies often look for ways to limit the development effort required to build and maintain them.

That doesn’t mean that these tools aren’t important. They facilitate the execution of critical business processes, and enable employees to effectively do their jobs. They play a vital role in customer onboarding, service management, inventory control, order fulfillment, and the overall smooth operation of technology stacks. 

When the platforms supporting these applications go down, business operations are disrupted. At Appsmith, we understand the importance of these tools, and can provide the continuity that teams need to keep their businesses running smoothly.

Transfer your tools from Airplane to Appsmith

If you’re looking to keep your custom applications in flight, Appsmith can provide a smooth transfer from Airplane. As an open-source product, it’s completely free to build with Appsmith in the cloud or host your own instance of the platform. We have a library of ready-made templates for common applications that you can use to jumpstart your project, detailed documentation and tutorials, and a robust community that’s available to help you as you get started.

Beyond the resources, our team is also here to support you. We can help you migrate your Airplane apps without having to rewrite your scripts. Keep an eye out for some new guides and tutorials to make the journey even easier.

Take Appsmith out for a spin

We're open-source, and you can self-host Appsmith or use our cloud version, both free.